We all know them, we’ve all interacted with them, heck we ARE them. In this article, we are going to run down a few examples of some of the most common types of drivers you will encounter at one point or another on Zimbabwean roads, for better or for worse.
The Dj a.k.a the ‘Look at Me Driver’
More often than not you can hear the drivers coming way before they actually show up. Their music is always turned up to the highest possible level; to the point where you can also hear the number plates rattling against the body of the car. There is no doubt that these drivers are full-fledged clubbers too who like their daily dose of Amapiano and other club bangers wherever they go. However, let’s be honest here, whether you like these sorts of drivers or not solely depends on how well your music tastes align with theirs.
The too fast too furious bus driver
These guys seem to have graduated from The Fast and Furious Driving Academy specialising in ‘Vin-Dieseling and Family Values’. This type of driver absolutely scares me because the laws of physics are unforgiving when you attempt to break them in a fully loaded bus. I was once overtaken by an Inter Africa Bus on the highway whilst I was doing 120km/hr! One can only imagine how fast HE was going. The very thought of that terrifies me.
‘I clearly bought my license’ driver
You feel bad for them whilst simultaneously annoyed by them. They always have that look of confusion about what they are supposed to be doing on the road.
Because of the overabundance of automatic transmission vehicles they can mask this somewhat. However, the truth is always revealed when the time comes for low-speed manoeuvres such as parallel parking or squeezing into tight spaces. This is where the true colours are revealed, not just of the driver, but of the car as the scratched bodywork reveals more than what is otherwise hidden.
The Teenager/ Rookie Driver
Aged between 16 (or younger) and 20, these drivers seem to have all of the aforementioned negative traits. They are the speedsters yet confused or arrogant around other vehicles; the highway DJs and will also ride your bumper so hard you can almost smell what you had for breakfast. They not only graduated from the Fast and Furious Driving Academy but they did so with flying colours. We all know them and some of us were them. All we can hope for is that they grow out of that phase. But unfortunately, some will never really do until….like what one of my friends likes to say, “It’s not the speed that kills you but the sudden stop that will.”
“Rules? What are those?” These guys are most probably the inventors of the suicide lane. This is where one forms his/her own lane in the middle of the road. It’s not surprising though since most of these drivers are former kombi drivers who pulled such moves on a daily basis. A typical mushikashika driver is usually behind the wheel of a dilapidated Toyota Wish or Honda Fit; driving around with the tailgate open for extra passengers. With the current transport crisis occurring at the time of this write-up; its, unfortunately, become a much more common sight than ever before.
The Highway Companion Driver
Being on the road for hours on end can be boring at times. There comes a time during the trip when your music playlist isn’t hitting the way it once was; and if you have passengers, the conversation seems to have stalled a bit. This is when you begin to notice one particular driver who is going at approximately the same speed you’re going and generally behaves in a manner that more or less mirrors your own. And so like a relationship you take a chance with them. You stick by them until the relationship comes to an inevitable end and you part ways like that final Paul Walker scene from the Fast and Furious movie. (What a tear-jerker)
I will never forget you random Silver Toyota Camry driver…You’re the best I’ve ever had.
The ‘Follow the leader’ Driver
This is the ‘monkey-see, monkey-do type of driver found on both highways and urban streets. As the title suggests he/she cannot resist the temptation of peer pressure and if others are doing it, why not me? I’m sure we have all succumbed to this one so I will not say anything too negative. Furthermore, certain driving situations actually call for such action and that is what separates us from some of the autonomous vehicles currently in development. In their current state, they tend to struggle as some driving decisions call on adjusting to one’s environment and not necessarily preset algorithms.
And that’s our list! Do you have other types of Zimbabwean drivers you know of and would like to share with us? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments!